3 Winning Moves Every Business Needs to Steal From LeBron James



LeBron James, King of Basketball is a game-changer and record-breaker, but not just because of his multiple championships or status as the all-time playoff scoring leader in NBA history. He has left competitors blindsided, fans in awe, and kids across the nation inspired not just to dream, but to shoot their shots in pursuit of their greatest goals. 

LeBron is the first NBA player to be esteemed by the FBI as, “what the “endless pursuit of excellence looks like.” And even you’re not courtside, but a founder too focused on building a successful business to have time for pastimes, there are three universal moves every player in the startup world needs to learn from LeBron James if they want to become the best in the business. 

Never Outgrow the Fundamentals 

James has said that he would practice shooting hoops all day. And when he said all day, he meant all day–not just a couple of hours or for the afternoon, but all day. 

It isn’t just about the time invested, but where the time was invested: the basics. While there’s this idea that becoming the best means having the most advanced skills, in reality, being the best often means being the best at the basics–something many overlook, and one of the most difficult things to do, leading many to pursue seemingly bigger and more attractive challenges.

LeBron says that he wants “the fundamentals of the game to be as great as they can be”–a key leadership lesson from Michael Jordan, his idol. When becoming an expert at the fundamentals is foundational to your success, you get to work on the simple things–the very things that others tend to believe they’ve outgrown and therefore overlook. But mastering the basics is how both professional atheists and the most successful entrepreneurs achieve what no one else does. 

No One Builds a Legacy By Standing Still 

In a recent Instagram post, James said, “no one builds a legacy standing still,” in the caption. Every off-season he tries to find a part of his game to make better.

Even those at the top of their game need to keep working and improving. Because those who seek to simply maintain their lead often fall behind. It’s those who seek to extend their lead that maintain their lead. James has this mindset that he can never be good enough, and because he’ll never get comfortable with where he’s at, he continues to be exceptional. 

Never stop working to be the best–even if you currently are. Because there’s always someone working to be better than you–and you need to make sure you’re one of them. 

No One Wins Alone 

LeBron is the first to tell you that he’s never won a game by himself. Despite the fact that scoring the ball is so heralded in the game of basketball, he explains that he could go on the court and be a ball hog, but instead he shares the wealth and passes the ball because he wants to see his team be excited too. 

Business, like basketball is a team sport. Even solopreneurs depend on others, from suppliers to contractors. But its not just that James recognizes that it take a team to make a win, but that he needs to give others the opportunity to be an evident part of that win. In doing so, the team’s win feels like everybody’s win, keeping everyone excited, motivated, and invested. 

Great leaders aren’t just passionate and relentless in the pursuit of greatness. They don’t just master, but become experts in the fundamentals. They never stop moving and striving for more. And they build their teams up so that when they win, everyone around them wins. Those that not only work to become a master, but work to help those around them do the same, are those that in business become the most successful. 

Whether you’re looking to launch like Elon Musk or become a legend like LeBron, those that live these three plays for excellence are those who become legends–excelling on and off the court.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.





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